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Key West Literary Scene

I recently blogged about The Paris Wife, a fictional account of Ernest Hemingway’s early years and the jazz age literary scene in Paris in the 1920’s. Shortly thereafter I read a review of a new nonfiction book which sounded related: Mile Marker Zero: The Moveable Feast of Key West.

Although Hemingway spent later years in Key West, he is only mentioned in passing. Rather it is the story of another literary scene in another time in another part of the world: Key West in the 1970’s.

This later generation was defined by Jimmy Buffett, Jim Harrison, Tom McGuane, Hunter S. Thompson among others, and the small town on a two-by-four mile island. During this decade or so, it became an artistic haven – some there to find their creative voice, some to recreate themselves, others to get lost ultimately in drugs and alcohol.

This interesting, readable book tells the story of how some found their identities there and even maintained their friendships over the decades as Key West changed, the times changed, and most of them moved on to other parts of the country.

It was a unique time and a unique place with literary and artistic achievements that continue; there are interesting similarities between Paris in the 20’s and Key West in the 70’s.

Book

Mile Marker Zero: The Moveable Feast of Key West
9780307592002

Key West Literary Scene

(Books, Nonfiction) Permanent link

I recently blogged about The Paris Wife, a fictional account of Ernest Hemingway’s early years and the jazz age literary scene in Paris in the 1920’s. Shortly thereafter I read a review of a new nonfiction book which sounded related: Mile Marker Zero: The Moveable Feast of Key West.

Although Hemingway spent later years in Key West, he is only mentioned in passing. Rather it is the story of another literary scene in another time in another part of the world: Key West in the 1970’s.

This later generation was defined by Jimmy Buffett, Jim Harrison, Tom McGuane, Hunter S. Thompson among others, and the small town on a two-by-four mile island. During this decade or so, it became an artistic haven – some there to find their creative voice, some to recreate themselves, others to get lost ultimately in drugs and alcohol.

This interesting, readable book tells the story of how some found their identities there and even maintained their friendships over the decades as Key West changed, the times changed, and most of them moved on to other parts of the country.

It was a unique time and a unique place with literary and artistic achievements that continue; there are interesting similarities between Paris in the 20’s and Key West in the 70’s.

Book

Mile Marker Zero: The Moveable Feast of Key West
9780307592002

Posted by Ann Rohrbaugh at 12/02/2011 01:19:58 PM | 


Thanks - looks interesting! Will add it to "the list." I had just read "The Sun Also Rises" when I visited Key West in the '70s. Let's just say that it was an eye-opening experience for a kid from rural Michigan.
Posted by: keith ( Email ) at 12/2/2011 1:25 PM


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